Though a popular game, many people wonder why cricket is not in the Olympics. In fact, the International Cricket Council (ICC) appears to have failed to persuade the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to include cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles games. The primary reason cricket is not in the Olympics is due to the cost and complexity of organizing a cricket tournament on such a vast scale. It just doesn’t fit the IOC criteria!
In this article, we highlight 5 main reasons why cricket is not in the Olympics and look into circumstances in which cricket can be a part of the Olympics.
5 Reasons why cricket is not in the Olympics
Many people consider cricket too big of a game to be in Olympics – a single major event. Even a tournament like the ODI World Cup is only once a year. As the T20 matches have been introduced, the chances of its inclusion in the Olympics have increased by many folds.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) even launched a campaign to get cricket back into the Olympic games. But, it seems to have failed as cricket was not among the list of 28 sports provisionally added to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics program.
Here are the 5 possible reasons that explain why cricket is not in the Olympics:
- Host countries
- Busy schedule
The time factor is one reason why cricket is not in the Olympics. A 50-over ODI (One Day International) takes around 8 hours to complete. Though the option of 20-over T20 games is available now, it still requires a lot of time, considering the number of teams participating in these matches.
Financial factor is another reason why cricket is not in Olympics. The cost of hosting cricket includes a lot of technical assistance for long hours. A cricket match requires huge stadiums with massive seating capacities for every game. The cost and effort of organizing matches between every single cricketing nation are one of the main reasons for the non-inclusion of cricket in the Olympics.
Also, most countries participating in the Olympic games don’t have the resources to form, train, and send their cricket teams to play in them. The lack of cricket infrastructure in these countries is also a major reason why cricket is not in the Olympics. For similar reasons, cricket was also not in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The cricket ground is unique and is unsuitable for hosting other Olympic games. Therefore, it is not financially feasible for the IOC to find such a vast number of cricket grounds. Especially in the non-cricket-playing nations where most Olympic games are hosted.
Until today, the non-cricket-playing nations were the host of the Olympic games. Therefore, the possibility of its inclusion in the Olympics would increase if a cricket-playing nation like India hosted it.
Cricket-playing countries mostly follow a tight schedule throughout the year. Therefore, these countries might be unable to devote the period required to participate in an Olympics event. Instead, they would have to reschedule their entire year to accommodate these games, which might not suit them financially.
Cricket in the Olympics – First appearance at the Olympics game
Cricket was one of the sporting events in the Athens Olympics in 1896 – the first Olympic games ever held. However, cricket failed to attract spectators, and most countries withdrew from the game. As a result, it was not in the Athens Olympics and subsequent Olympic games.
Cricket was also in the Paris Games in 1990. Belgium, Holland, Great Britain, and France participated in the Paris Games. However, Belgium and Holland withdrew from the cricket matches. France and Great Britain played, and Great Britain won that match. But sadly, cricket hasn’t been added to the Olympics or any other global sporting events ever since.
The probable reason might be the game’s duration, as the match between France and Great Britain was a two-day match where both teams were to bat and field twice. Another reason might be the popularity that the game got. Though Great Britain won the game, it should be noted that its national side did not participate in this game. The Devon and Somerset Wanderers Club represented the country at the Olympics. Even the French team consisted primarily of British ex-pats.
How can cricket be in the Olympics again?
To include any game in the official Olympic games, the international federation has to govern it. Thankfully, the ICC is the international cricket council for cricket-playing nations.
As per the Olympic charter, IOC must recognize and approve a game before it enters the Olympics. Sadly, cricket hasn’t been approved or recognized by the IOC yet. The game also has to fulfill many other criteria and the nations that host the Olympic games must participate in it.
Once the IOC recognizes the game, it needs to get the final recommendation from the IOC’s executive board. Only after completing all these formalities, a game can go to the Olympic list of sporting events. There are various factors that IOC takes into consideration before including a sport in the Olympics program, such as popularity, complexity, cost, relevance, and uniqueness.
Though cricket has a considerable presence, many countries don’t play it officially, and neither have their national cricket side. Therefore, the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics seems to be difficult as of now.
We hope that cricket lovers now know why cricket is not in the Olympics. If a cricket-playing nation like India hosts the Olympics games, there might be a higher chance of its inclusion. Also, the ICC and other cricket boards must follow up with the IOC consistently and request them to offer support to organize cricket during the Olympic games. Though we might not see cricket played in the Olympics in the near future, it might certainly happen one day. Cricket lovers must hope that everything pans out well in the future.
Why cricket is not in the Olympics – FAQs
No. Cricket is not in the Olympics.
The Olympics games are held after every 4 years. They consist of Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. Both these sets of games are held after every 4 years with a gap of 2 years between them.
In terms of capacity, India’s Narendra Modi Stadium is the world’s largest cricket stadium. Take a look at this article to know the top 50 biggest cricket stadiums in the world by capacity.
IOC (International Olympics Committee) selects a city to host the Olympic games. After that, the NOC (National Olympics Committee) of the host nation builds an OCOG (Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) that organizes the games by working closely with the IOC.
The Olympic Charter is the list of regulations or guidelines that host countries and ISFs (International Sports Federations) have to follow to organize the Olympic sports and events.
There are several reasons for the non-inclusion of Cricket in the Olympics. The main reasons include:
– The scale and enormity of cricket as a game
– Lack of interest shown by individual cricket boards
– Hosting countries are mostly non-cricket playing countries
– Scheduling and financial issues for organizing cricket